Search results for 'info-activism'

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Wikileaks Statement on the 9 Month Anniversary of Cablegate: Release of 133,887 Cables 

Over the past week, WikiLeaks has released 133,887 US diplomatic cables from around the world - more than half of the entire Cablegate material (251,287 cables). The new release was met with a sustained Denial of Service (DOS) attack during the first 36 hours. WikiLeaks had to rely on back-up servers for some hours. With supporters? help, WikiLeaks was able to bring in additional servers to stave off the attack.

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Holding Out for Un-alienated Communication 

"In August 1996, we called for the creation of a network of independent media, a network of information. We mean a network to resist the power of the lie that sells us this war that we call the Fourth World War. We need this network not only as a tool for our social movements, but for our lives: this is a project of life, of humanity, humanity which has a right to critical and truthful information."

These were the words of Subcomandante Marcos, speaking in 1997 from Chiapas in the midst of the Zapatistas' guerrilla information war against the Mexican state and the neocolonialism reflected in NAFTA. Marcos's powerful statement and Zapatista stories of struggle were circulated from the jungle of Chiapas on mailing lists, listservs, and websites, capturing the imagination of activists around the world and galvanizing a wave of new grassroots media projects. Perhaps no project more purely embodied this response than the Indymedia network, which was launched in November 1999 at the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings and quickly grew into a global network of news websites.

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Governmentality of Information 

The American military network ARPAnet was conceived as a way to maintain uninterrupted communications in the event of nuclear war. Ancestor of the Internet and foundation of the Global Information Infrastructure, ARPAnet springs from exactly the same source as the "push­button war" that lay behind it: the change of scale provoked by the early 20th century discoveries in physics, within an industrial society capable of organizing the productivity - including the scientific productivity - of thousands of agents. Here, no doubt, is the real birthplace of the information society: a society massively penetrated by the sciences and technologies of information and telecommunications, using them to carry out the design of the planet or at least, that of its components (with design replacing politics). A society whose governmentality entails the knowledge of the real, that is to say, the transformation of reality into information. A society whose governmentality unfolds between its smallest common denominators (atomic, electronic, magnetic, genetic, chemical) and its largest common denominators (climate, planet, solar system), by way of laws, formulas and norms that determine its productivity, means, and possible destinies.

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Cartography of Excess 

Utopian ideas - like "Spaceship Earth" - are round, multidimensional, interrelated: their archetypal map is the Milky Way, the infinite constellations. But rational thinking is instrumental, linear, it distorts: and that's exactly the problem with the Mercator map, the most common world projection. Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome, created a "Dymaxion map" to undo those distortions. First the earth becomes a geometric figure, an isocahedron: its 20 triangles are then disjointed and laid flat, so the land masses radiate from a nexus in the north, without splitting continents or enlarging the polar regions.

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Notes on the Future of Activism 

Contemporary activism begins from the realization that for the first time in history, a synergy of catastrophes face us. Our physical environment is dying, our financial markets are collapsing and our culture, fed on a diet of junk thought, is atrophying -- unable to muster the intellectual courage to face our predicament.

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Syrian Hands Raised: User Generated Creativity Between Citizenship and Dissent 

As much as images of violence, civil war, and sectarian strife become prominent in the media narrative of the Syrian uprising, little gems of innovative cultural production, artistic resistance, and creative disobedience continue to sprout across the virtual alleys of the Internet. These creative gems are also the germs of a viral peer-production process at work at a grassroots level in the new Syrian public sphere. Such acts of creativity - mash-ups, cartoons, slogans, jokes, songs, and web series - are probably too small and inconsistent in impact compared to the horrific magnificence that shelling, bombing, sniping, and killing scenes that provide daily fodder to global television viewers. It is also challenging to discover them; in fact, as remarked by Tunisian blogger Sami ben Gharbia at the Arab Bloggers meeting in Tunis (3-6 October 2011), Facebook is not the most suitable platform for activists to store, archive, tag, search for content, and give it a context.

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Wikileaks and Freedom, Autonomy and Sovereignty in the cloud 

"We have to be very attentive and united at a state level to fight against what is a threat to democratic authority and sovereignty,"
- French government spokesman Francois Baroin speaking out against wikileaks releasing US diplomatic cables.

"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather."
- A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, John Perry Barlow

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Dawn of the Organised Networks 

At first glance the concept of "organised networks" appears oxymoronic. In technical terms, all networks are organised. There are founders, administrators, moderators and active members who all take up roles. Think also back to the early work on cybernetics and the "second order" cybernetics of Bateson and others. Networks consist of mobile relations whose arrangement at any particular time is shaped by the "constitutive outside" of feedback or noise.[1] The order of networks is made up of a continuum of relations governed by interests, passions, affects and pragmatic necessities of different actors. The network of relations is never static, but this is not to be mistaken for some kind of perpetual fluidity. Ephemerality is not a condition to celebrate for those wishing to function as political agents.

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The Internet Freedom Fallacy and Arab Digital Activism 

This article focuses on grassroots digital activism in the Arab world and the risks of what seems to be an inevitable collusion with U.S foreign policy and interests. It sums up the most important elements of the conversation I have been having for the last two years with many actors involved in defending online free speech and the use of technology for social and political change. While the main focus is Arab digital activism, I have made sure to include similar concerns raised by activists and online free speech advocates from other parts of the world, such as China, Thailand, and Iran.

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